Now known by the name Microsoft Servers, the Windows Server System, including variations on the name, is Microsoft Corporation’s server software. It is the current iteration through which Microsoft has made a server edition of their popular Windows operating system available, the successors of Windows NT, the first of the 32-bit Windows versions dating from July of 1993.
The current version of this software is Windows Server 2008 R2, which is based on the kernel of Windows NT 6.0 Service Pack 1. Microsoft claims that this release reduces power consumption, makes management easier, and leads to improved user experience.
How Windows Works
Windows server software is developed in a fundamentally different way than the open source Linux distribution, for example. Windows Server 2008 has much in common with VISTA. The Server Core can be configured in several different ways, depending on the role it will play. The design of the Server Core, with Dynamic Hardware Partitioning, is meant to reduce its security vulnerability.
Choosing Windows Web Hosting
Not all servers are run on the latest server software, and you will still find Windows web hosting with Windows 2003. You can usually expect that Windows web hosting plans will support Microsoft products and installations, such as the browser Internet Explorer, .NET, the relational database management system Microsoft Office Access, and the Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL) system for managing relational databases.
Note that when you choose Windows web hosting, you may find fewer languages supported than with a Linux distribution or UNIX, so check carefully. On the other hand, certain scripting languages may require Windows to work properly. Additionally, some ecommerce solutions may require one server type or the other.